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3 Types of Door Sweeps

Here are three types of door sweeps (or door bottoms) to consider to help stop the drafts.

Door sweep on front door of house iStock

Spread across the bottom of a standard 3-foot-wide entry door, a 1⁄4 inch space can let in as much air as a 3.4-inch hole in the wall. Keep cold out and precious heated air in by closing the gap with a door sweep.

Common Types of Door Sweeps

Front door sweeps From left: Courtesy Zoro, Home Depot, Global Industrial

A) Least visible

Not crazy about seeing a sweep? This hidden device’s metal housing fits into a groove routed into a wood door’s bottom edge; the sweep automatically raises and lowers. When the door closes, a pin on one end is pushed in, lowering the gasket flush with the threshold. Opening the door releases the pin and lifts the sweep.

Shown above (a): National Guard Auto Door Bottom 335N-36, $37; Zoro

B) Easiest to install

If you don’t have a solid wood door (or don’t want to alter yours), a surface-mount automatic door bottom may work. Fastened to the door’s outside face, a spring-loaded vinyl strip swivels up when the door opens. It’s long-lasting and won’t impede swing—but it will be visible from outside.

Shown above (b): M-D Building Products Flex-O-Matic Door Sweep 07179, $11; Home Depot

C) Best for uneven floors

An automatic door bottom only maintains tight contact with a flat surface. If your threshold isn’t level, a brush-style sweep that conforms to the floor’s contours is a better option. The dense nylon bristles on this UL-listed, commercial-grade sweep block drafts and smoke.

Shown above (c): Hager Door Bottom Sweep with Brush Insert, $16; Global Industrial